Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Ponytail pulling: 'A thing' John Key does

Prime Minister John Key at the Matakana Markets with John Campbell for TV3's Campbell Live segment on At Home With The Leaders in the run up to the 2014 general election April 2014. Photo / Screenshot
Prime Minister John Key at the Matakana Markets with John Campbell for TV3's Campbell Live segment on At Home With The Leaders in the run up to the 2014 general election April 2014. Photo / Screenshot

Prime Minister John Key allegedly pulled the pony-tails of two school girls while on a visit to the national museum.

Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR said his 12-year-old daughter watched last night's television news and said, "that's what the Prime Minister did at Te Papa to my two friends".

Mr Blackham, who has advised senior politicians from Labour, National and the Greens and the Internet Party, said his daughter had visited Te Papa on a school trip late last year.

He has since blogged about the incident on his political strategy blog, Political Business.

"I guess she was a bit amazed, she was just intrigued that it had happened to her friends as well, she was surprised," Mr Blackham told the Herald.

"I don't think [the friend's] were perturbed, it was no big deal...it looks as if this is a thing he does, it's a way of interacting, it seems.

"I think it puts a bit more perspective on it...I don't know if it's affectionate or what it is, but it's clearly a thing he does."

This follows another incident when in the April 7, 2014 episode of Campbell Live, a segment focused on Key and his wife Bronagh at their beach house in Omaha included a scene of hair pulling.

During a trip to Matakana Village Farmers' Market, the segment featured Key on camera asking children questions, including where one girl goes to school and if she likes her teacher.

While John Campbell asks two girls nearby if they know who this man (Key) is, Key pulled one girl's ponytail.

- NZ Herald

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